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Business News/ Opinion / Online-views/  Synage bets features will give first-mover edge to DeskAway

Bangalore: Chief executive of Synage Software Pvt. LtdSahil Parikh has a pitch for those working on projects: an online service that can simplify and organize their teamwork.

Making it simple: Synage’s chief executive officer Sahil Parikh.

Synage’s flagship service, called DeskAway, is a subscription-based online team and project management software that makes it easy to organize, manage and track projects from a central location.

“With an increase in the number of projects going on in companies as well as in small businesses, it is critical for team members to know how their projects are going and remove common problems like lost files and email spam," says the Mumbai-based Parikh.

As an online service, it doesn’t require downloads or installation and works off an Internet connection and a Web browser. Launched in 2005, the company has 2,000 customers and makes money through recurring monthly and annual subscriptions. The subscription fee varies from $10 (Rs475) to $99 a month. For starters, there is a free plan for three projects with up to five users for a month. People opting for yearly subscriptions get to pay fees equivalent of 10 months. Parikh says about 15% customers are paying for the service at the moment.

The company counts US-based Basecamp, Zoho Projects and GoPlan as competitors. Parikh, however, claims that affordability, ease of use and features that are frequently upgraded give DeskAway an edge. “We will have the first-mover advantage in India. When Indians open to the idea of SaaS (Software as a Service), we will be positioned well," he says.

Synage is constantly adding new features and Parikh lists some including the ability to archive completed projects, assignment and tracking of milestones, tasks distributed and issues raised, personal email reminders, calendar events, blogs and full backup. He says DeskAway had a turnover of more than Rs11 lakh last year, but wouldn’t elaborate. Over the next one year, the company plans to have 10,000-15,000 signed customers with at least 1,000 of them paying for the service. The conversion rate of those trying the software to subscribing it is 3-4%, he says.

“Software piracy is a big issue in India, which can be a cause of concern for the companies providing SaaS. Also, there is a perception in India that a software should come free with the hardware. It is difficult to convince people to buy them," says Srini Vudayagiri, managing director, Lightspeed Advisory Services India Pvt. Ltd. Vudayagiri says the annual market of SaaS is about $40 million in India.

Synage Software Pvt. Ltd is one of the nominated companies at the Tata NEN Hottest Startups competition, of which Mint is the official print media partner. Details of the competition can also be accessed at

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Updated: 06 Oct 2008, 10:15 PM IST
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